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Meat in the Wilderness - What's that smell?

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posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 02:55 PM
There is one thing we all have in common. We smell like human. In fact Scientists have found that Elk actually find humans a much bigger threat than wolves.

Elk respond more strongly to threats from humans than from wolves, and they are more likely to flee for protected refuges if there are hunters in the area, a recent study has found.

The findings by a team of scientists from Montana State University illustrate one of the difficulties in using hunting to manage elk populations across the West when the ungulates respond very quickly and dramatically to hunters in the area.


As every hunter already knows the animals are already well aware that you are a predator. They will run at the sight of you and they recognize your scent. They can smell your skin and your sweat. They recognize the perfumes in the detergents we use to wash our clothes and the cologne we wear. Their sense of smell is extremely good and they will be able to smell you from quite a distance. If you do not do something about your scent and the wind is not on your side, your expedition will most likely end up being nothing more than a nice stroll through the woods.

In an end of civilization scenario, unless you want to forage for berries the rest of your life, you're going to need to get some red meat. In order to do that you're going to have to hunt.. There are already many cover scents and scent blockers available on the market, but sporting good shops will be a thing of the past... so what is a hunter to do?

DIY Scent Blocker at Home Base:

1. Gather materials from the area you are going to hunt. This will most likely be pine needles / bark (pine bark is the best), leaves or grasses (maybe all of the above). Be sure to get a decent amount of these.

2. Find a clean water source and fill a pot, tap water generally contains chlorine and fluoride which the animals can usually pick up. Nice spring or river water, or distilled water is a much better choice.

3. Heat the pot to just before boiling and add your materials to the water. DO NOT BOIL

4. Simmer for about an hour, I would recommend doing this outdoors as the smell will be quite strong.

5. Allow your finished scent blocker to cool as you do not want to scald yourself. Once cooled place the blocker in an empty spray bottle (I would recommend a nice baking soda and water rinse of the bottle to get rid of any extra smells... of course if civilization as we know it has ended, just rinse it really good..)

6. Spray it all over your clothes, boots, hat, skin and hair.. you now smell like the forest.. This will not last forever, be sure to reapply every hour or two.

Another way to add to this is to store your hunting clothes for at least a couple days in a plastic bag (tote, any sort of container) with a good amount of dirt, pine needles, leaves, grasses, sage brush etc. depending on where you're hunting.

Blocking Scent in the Field

There are a few nice ways to do this.. The easiest one is digging holes with a stick.. The smell of the fresh soil will go into the air and cover the smell of human. Another thing you can do is use wicks (a peice of cloth) tied to a tree with your spray on it..

The best thing to use on a wick though (since attractants don't exist anymore) is skunk spray.. If you at any point managed to trap a skunk that scent gland is a wild game gold mine. Game animals are generally not threatened by the smell of skunk, they smell it all the time. If you have skunk smell it's guaranteed to all but eliminate your smell for a long distance.

Also gather a bunch of pine needles and rub them between your fingers while you are waiting for an animal. It will give you something to do with your hands and you will notice that the scent from them is greatly amplified by the friction.

These simple things will make your life a lot easier when it comes to hunting.

I would also recommend my guide to cleaning wild game.

Meat in the Wilderness - Guide to Preparing Game


On the other side of the spectrum I think it's worth noting that not only can they smell you, but you'll be surprised how well you can smell them. Do not underestimate your sense of smell just because it's a human nose..
edit on 30-8-2012 by DaMod because: (no reason given)

edit on 30-8-2012 by DaMod because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 04:44 PM
Hunting is not your best option for meat as trapping is far more effective. Firearms will give you away to everyone for miles around and bow hunting would still be worthwhile but not terribly efficient even for those very experienced. Bow hunting from a tree stand is a good option but once up a tree and spotted your pretty much at someone else's mercy.
A good natural way to cover your scent is with wood smoke. Smoke yourself, your gear and your clothes (especially your shoes!) thoroughly. Using natural vegetation is your next best option and choose the smelliest plants you can find that will be native to the area you plan to hunt in. Animals recognize new smells and will flee at first sniff. A small bottle of baby powder can show you wind direction even in very slight breezes. If you don't have that find some plants with fluffy seed pods and drop them to see which way it's moving.

posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 05:28 PM
reply to post by Asktheanimals

I prefer to bow hunt from the ground actually but yes a firearm would give you away.. I usually ghillie up (with a ghillie poncho I made myself not a suit.. too restrictive and not as effective imho).. Scenting up is more for archery anyway (I don't think I've ever had to scent up for a rifle hunt.. just play the wind), and I will do a section on trapping..

Also planned on doing on on Tracking, Meat Preservation, Kill Zones.. This is the 2nd installment I will be doing more "Meat in the Wilderness" installments.

Of course if you smoke your clothing you will smell like camp fire. It may work but seems to me like it would be a smell an animal would associate with humans.
edit on 30-8-2012 by DaMod because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 06:57 PM
Have you guys thought of capturing some rabbits live and breeding them in captivity for a food source in an end of the world situation?

posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 04:23 AM
reply to post by Jesix840

you would need a fattier meat substance unless you had another source of nutrients along with the rabbit for a stew or soup of some sorts
edit on 31-8-2012 by Bonkrh because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 04:28 AM
post removed because the user has no concept of manners

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posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 07:58 PM
reply to post by DaMod

Awesome post!

I can tell you from a lot of personal experience, plain old baking soda. It is cheap and works wonders. Now you also have to watch how you bathe too. No scenty soaps. Same for hunting clothes. I just wash mine in, you guessed it, more baking soda. I keep my hunting clothes in an air tight tub with more, wait for it, baking soda.

Sure, it does not "cover" anything. It simply negates what is a already there. If you wash with smelly soap and then put a commercial cover scent on, you will smell like the cover scent AND the soap to the critters.

Some scent discipline and baking soda made a world of difference for me. From a survival POV, you cannot get less expensive, longer lasting, multiple uses, and more non-toxic than baking soda.

Disclaimer: I do not own a baking soda company

posted on Sep, 1 2012 @ 01:57 AM
Another thing I've had some success with is clorophyll capsules. I generally start taking them a few weeks before hunting season starts and it seems to help. You'll notice your sweat smells less,and you have less BO in general. It won't eliminate all scent,nothing will that I know of, but every bit helps. Basically your trying to make your scent faint enough to make the critters think your farther away than you really are. Nothing substitutes playing the wind though, in my experience.

posted on Sep, 1 2012 @ 04:32 PM
I think the other poster was right about trapping being better. That would give you more time to do the other things that you need to get done.

posted on Sep, 1 2012 @ 09:29 PM
Well,that depends on where you are and what you are after. Small game like rabbits would be more effectively snared than shot perhaps, but trapping takes time too. Building and setting takes time,and checking them takes time too. You will want to check them daily,and depending on how many you have,this could be quite time consuming. In some circumstances,hunting would be the more efficient means of procuring meat.

For example,if you know a couple good spots for waterfowl,you may be better served to go and shoot a few geese than to spend all day checking traps. In my area,I know where I am most likely to find ducks and geese,or deer and moose if that's what I'm after. If I needed something quick, I could likely go out and be back in a few hours with something to show for it. I usually bow hunt, but in survival situations I'd likely pick up one of my rifles. Sure,gunshots carry a long way, but pinpointing the exact source of the sound is difficult,and by the time anyone arrives to check it out ,I'm long gone.

Also,it depends much on where you live and what the climate is like.In my area, there isn`t nearly the amount of small game that there is in many other area`s. Rabbits are rarely seen,and grouse are also much fewer than they once where.No squirrels either,except the little reds that aren`t worth shooting. What we do have is lots of least from spring to fall,and lots of big game.We also have very cold,long winters.So,personally I would be looking for one big kill late in the fall,preferably a moose or elk,which would get me through the winter. The cold weather would do my freezing for me,so no worries of spoilage. I would trap for furbearers like coyote`s,which I have been doing for a few years anyway to try to reduce their exploding population a bit. Perhaps the pelts would be worth a little bit to someone,who knows.

Speaking of hunting, I start my 2 week vacation on Monday,which means it`s time for the annual combination moose, elk and deer archery hunt! Really hoping for an elk this year,but moose would be almost as good.Can`t wait to go,this is by far my favorite time of year!

posted on Sep, 18 2012 @ 07:32 PM
I find sometimes the animals are curious of different smells. i put a new trail cam out and the deer come right up to it sniffing it. aslong as you play the wind right and you know where they bed/feed you should be ok. also elk is delicious !!! had some last year a friend got. very hard to get elk tags in canada ontario, but wouldnt be a problem if shtf

posted on Sep, 28 2012 @ 01:20 AM
Chewing on white oak acorns will mask the scent of your breath from a deer. It will attract them since those acorns are not bitter.

Hunters near an apple orchard have used gum that is flavored like apple, and say it worked.

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